City of Lost Souls is the penultimate book in the Mortal Instruments series, written by Cassandra Clare. Clare knows how to keep her audience gripped and wanting more. The same is true for this book as it has been for the previous four and it was a thrilling read from beginning to end.
Dangers are drawing in for the Shadowhunters now that Jace finds himself a servant of evil with no say in the matter. While the Clave are thinking only of the protection of Iridis and the world as a whole, the Lightwoods, Clary, Simon and Magnus find themselves searching for ways that they can save their brother/friend. It doesn’t help that anything that hurts Sebastian has the same effect on Jace and vice versa; it’s not as simple as just killing one and freeing the other.
Clary decides to be with Jace, being close to both him and her brother in order to find out what Sebastian’s plan is. But it is hard staying object when your brother seems to care for you and your lover wants nothing more than to be with you. Clary must constantly remind herself why she is doing this or there is the risk that she will lose herself to the same darkness that has consumed Jace. Only her descent into hell won’t be with the aid of a rune controlling her every move.
Meanwhile, the others play their own dangerous game as they search for ways to save Jace. Between summoning angels and demons alike in order to find a potential cure, Simon and Isabelle find they are feeling more for each other than they previously believed. At the same time, trouble finds paradise in Alec and Magnus’s relationship as Alec has to deal with the uncomfortable truth the warlock is immortal and he is not.
Despite the constant battle against evil in this book, there are a lot of hints about how the characters are growing up. There is more of a focus on the developing relationships in the story while they work towards a common goal, with Maia and Jordan overcoming their differences of the past as well. Clare can write the emotions of everyday people just as well as she can write the summoning of a dangerous demon by two Shadowhunters, a warlock and a vampire.
The book was just as gripping as before. Despite there not being the same level of action as in other books, the reader didn’t notice through how engaging the plot was. The darkness was just as likely to come from within as the characters strive to protect the ones they love, regardless of the cost. Somehow, that new form of threat adds another dimension to Clare’s story because you find yourself relating to the characters and what you might do given the situation.
A fantastic read with an epilogue that leaves you literally gasping for more. It will be interesting to see how things play out in the last book and what the final solution against evil will be.